From the days when he still had red hair and was rising to the peak of his career, this is one of Billy's legendary early performances. The culmination of a marathon British tour that ... See full summary »
When a genuine British celebrity is given their own " An Audience With .. " it is seen as a great tribute throughout the industry to the individuals. Over the years many well known entertainers have their own shows, but in recent years the standard that has been produced has been of very poor quality. This is why " An Audience with Billy Connolly " has become the gem of this series.
The concept is simple in this show a celebrity is honored and they spend the next 90 minutes sharing their professional and private life with fellow peers of the industry. In the audience this particular night are Bob Geldof, Paula Yates, Dennis Law, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Robbie Coltrane and Kenny Everett. These are just few of the people here. All of whom including the general public audience are privilege to watch first hand Connolly to emerge from his cocoon and fully re-invent himself as a stand up comedy. Before this he had created stories out of jokes. His embellishments on such jokes had lasted nearly 15 years but from this point on Billy Connolly moved into a new style social observations. Which lead to having a direct influence on many of today's comedians, particularly Eddie Izzard.
What makes Billy Connolly funny. Well I can only answer this myself. In this show what becomes blatantly apparent is that his naivety is responsible for a lot of the humorous situations he finds himself in. He hides his naivety by claiming that his naïve notions are bids to be an " Windswept and Interesting, intrepid voyageur ". For instance he joined the Territorial Army and he found himself parachuting out of the very first plane he had ever been in. Most memorably was when he left school and he went to work in the famous Glasgow shipyards he said "I joined the queue to become a welder without knowing what a welder was ". For the first time in his life Billy felt safe in these surroundings and he was surrounded by characters whose humorous storytelling techniques have become one of the most appealing aspects of his style. His natural regurgitation of stories from this era and everyday happenings have since become legendary and fused with naïve appearance they have provided him with powerful factor of likability which connects him to all walks of live across the globe.
My favorite part in this DVD is when he makes the celebrities squirm with nervous laughter when he comments on their social status in Great Britain. Many come from a working class background and they have been elevated to that of Show Biz personality because of their talents, making them no longer working class. When Billy say's to them that he is not talking to " them (celebrities) but the Working Classes at the back. The one they refer to in those political talk shows as the Ordinary People ". I love watching Bob Geldof laugh nervously and twitching in his seat knowing he has been caught out by Billy Connolly. A nice quaint comment on Connolly's behalf because of the social turmoil in Great Britain at that moment.
From my experience you either love Billy Connolly or hate him there is no in between, but for those of you curious to view any material of Connolly's for the first time, US comedian and actor Robin Williams has said " This was the best stuff I have seen of him, where he just talks to people in the audience. ". Definitely worth the watch.
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